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Double Tower Town Wall and Gate
 

County

Waterford

Coordinates

N 52° 15' 24.18"   W 007° 06' 45.84"

Nearest town

Waterford

Grid Ref.

S 60575 12038

Map No.

76

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

9

Date of visit

Thursday 7 June 2018

GPS Accuracy (m)

4
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The stretch of wall that runs southeast-northwest to the Double Tower. This segment of wall still retains the wall walk on the inner side.


In early medieval times, the Vikings built a fortified settlement with a tower close to the sea. When the Anglo-Normans captured the town in 1170, this tower was rebuilt and the settlement was enclosed in stone walls.
When the Spanish spy Don Diego Ortiz visited Waterford in 1574, he said that the town was enclosed in a stone wall with a perimeter of about 1 mile, with seventeen defensive towers with cannons on them.
Today only six towers survive, along with long stretches of town wall, the largest collection of all Ireland.

This square tower is across Manor Street from the Watch Tower and is the third of the six surviving towers in Waterford, starting from the Reginald's Tower.
The tower was built in stone in the late 15th century to replace an old timber gateway built in the 13th century which would give access to the close of the church of St. John the Evangelist. For this reason this tower is also known with the name of Close Tower.
The new stone tower mantained the passageway to the church.
In 1542 Wiliam Wyse, a great friend of king Henry VIII, leased this tower from Waterford Corporation along with the Watch Tower, and this allowed him to raise the Close Tower by one storey, giving it the appearance of a small castle.
The name Double Tower comes from the fact that the tower has two chambers side by side, the first one is where the passageway is, the other one has a flight of stairs that lead to the upper floor and parapets.
The segment of wall that runs to the southeast, towards the Watch Tower, still has a wall walk on the inside. This feature is missing in the segment to the northwest.


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